Executive Summary Kathmandu Pre-feasibility Study

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The Bishnumati river runs to the immediate west of the old city of Kathmandu. It was once a pleasure to stroll along its banks; children playing in its clear waters, as it flowed through green fields. See front cover. Today it is shunned by all except those who have the misfortune to live and work in its vicinity.The river and its immediate environs is called the Bishnumati Corridor, defined as the section between Balaju in the north and Teku bridge in the south. See Figure 2.1. By any measure it is an environmental disaster.

  • The river is biological dead. Untreated sewage from adjacent heavily populated areas is discharged directly into the river.
  • For generations, waste has been dumped in or along river, to the extent that the channel is now confined between parallel banks of garbage. Dumping still continues.
  • The city’s only waste transfer facility exists at Teku, close to the southern end of the Corridor. This facility is frequently closed due to continual complaints from adjacent residents.
  • Various unhygienic activities exist along the corridor, the most offensive of which are open air slaughter of livestock.
  • Over the years unplanned and often illegal urban development has encroached the river. Much of this is occupied by urban poor who have limited access to adequate infrastructure and reside in sub-standard structures.
  • Remaining open space along the river is limited and in an unkempt condition. (…)

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